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Old 03-08-2019, 08:30 PM
TylerFrankel TylerFrankel is offline
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Default Can anybody help me with my first go kart?

Hey all! I'm new to the go kart world and was wondering if anyone can advise me. I've been wanting a go kart since I was a kid, and I found one for sale on the road the other day for 150 dollars. I bought it because it had an engine, a solid frame (although the floor panel needs replacing), and it was easy to get home. The engine wasn't running, but I'm good at small engines so one un-stuck exhaust valve later we're up and running. Couple problems though:

The chain is rusty and I'm having trouble removing it for replacement
The clutch is engaging when it shouldn't and I need to take it off and clean/sand/grease it but I can't get the chain off

The wheels appear to be split rims because they're bolted together, but they're plastic and need replacing and all the replacements I find have bearings which would mean the drive shaft wouldn't spin the wheels.

SO basically I need to find out how to take off the wheel but they're like stuck, and then I need a replacement wheel (I'll attach pictures). They're hooked up kind weird... does anyone know what to do?

Thanks!
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(kart)
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Front wheel
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Rear Wheel
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Connection between rear drive shaft and wheel(?)
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Rear drive shaft to sprocket
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:30 AM
HONEYBADGERFTW HONEYBADGERFTW is offline
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Soak the bolts and nuts in PB blaster penetration oil and let it sit awhile, then try them again. Also, spin the axle and look for a small set screw on the wheel hubs, might have one and you would need to loosen it to get the hub/wheel off. As far as the chain goes, sounds like you need a new one anyway so I would just find the master link and remove it or worst case unbolt the engine and lean it over towards the sprocket allowing the chain to slack.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:21 AM
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kart appears to be a Manco 225 (American Express )

none of the wheels are original (but that isn't a bad thing)

the rear wheels are Nylites and them being plastic is NOT a bad thing actually...
run them if you like, replace them if you don't.

spare halve ordernumbers can be found on azusaeng.com (now called azusalites http://azusaeng.com/product/5-azusalite-wheels/)

either call them for a retailer or search the internet for the partnumber you need.
(preceeded with "Azusa" keyword)

'sid
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HONEYBADGERFTW View Post
Soak the bolts and nuts in PB blaster penetration oil and let it sit awhile, then try them again. Also, spin the axle and look for a small set screw on the wheel hubs, might have one and you would need to loosen it to get the hub/wheel off. As far as the chain goes, sounds like you need a new one anyway so I would just find the master link and remove it or worst case unbolt the engine and lean it over towards the sprocket allowing the chain to slack.
Thanks for the advice! I'll try and take the wheels off today and split the rims to find the tubes I need for replacement. I spun the wheels around when looking at the back and all I saw was a key for the wheels to go on , but I'll check again. It's odd because the drive wheel apparently is held on with 1 lug, but the other wheel (this is a live axle btw) has a lug too that isn't tightened against it, but it's still stationary. I can't figure out how... maybe it's rusted to the frame I'll get back when I figure it out with pictures. The chain may have to be removed by loosening the engine like you say because it is soooo rusty. My clutch also doesn't have a bolt securing it to the engine shaft for some reason, so it moves back and forth when I slide it around I'll get one soon. Other than that once I get the wheels off and replace the tubes, and the sprocket (which is blocking the clutch from coming off b/c its huge) and the chain, I can clean or replace the clutch and be in business!

---------- Post added at 10:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:38 AM ----------

Yes it does! I may have to replace them because the outer rims cracked and I'm not sure about their structural integrity, but I suppose for testing they'll work. The mounts looked weird at first because I feel like I've seen other karts with a automobile-style wheel mount, but I suppose using a key works too. Never thought of that. Interesting! Thanks for the help, will update soon!
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:29 PM
TylerFrankel TylerFrankel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsid View Post
kart appears to be a Manco 225 (American Express )

none of the wheels are original (but that isn't a bad thing)

the rear wheels are Nylites and them being plastic is NOT a bad thing actually...
run them if you like, replace them if you don't.

spare halve ordernumbers can be found on azusaeng.com (now called azusalites http://azusaeng.com/product/5-azusalite-wheels/)

either call them for a retailer or search the internet for the partnumber you need.
(preceeded with "Azusa" keyword)

'sid
Today I tried and tried to get the wheels off, but failed. PB blaster and an electric impact hammer drill couldn't loosen the bolts. Additionally, I can't figure out what's holding on the rear right wheel. The bolt isn't even touching the wheel! I think the rust may be the only think holding it on?! It doesn't move back and forth but there's a huge gap between the wheel and the nut. The other rear wheel has about 10 washers holding it in place lol, and so it's fine... The front wheels seem to barely fit because the nut isn't threaded all the way.... I seem to be in some trouble here, I may have to break the nuts off these wheels and get a whole new set of tires. I want to hit them with a propane torch but I'm afraid of melting the plastic rims. I'll update with some better pictures soon.

I got the clutch off by loosening the engine, and it has 4 pucks that are held by metal rings. Different than the design I've seen, but makes sense. I tried cleaning it up and it helped but it still tries to engage at Idle so I may replace the metal rings if I can figure out where to get them

The engine also decided that it only wanted to run on full choke today (this is new) so I'll have to investigate the carb now. I tried to clean the jet today but it seemed fine and nothing changed, so I'm kinda confused. A

I also noticed that the front left wheel is bent up a bit and the right wheel is bearing the majority of the weight of the kart and becoming disproportionately worn, so I suppose I'll need to address this too.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:40 PM
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I would use either a propane torch or map gas torch (map gas burns hotter) around the axle nuts and hit them loose with a hammer. Just have to be careful not to melt anything important.
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:49 AM
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Thanks! I'll try that. If I'm careful to focus the flame at the bolt do you think I can prevent the rims from melting? They're plastic, but apparently they're a special kind of plastic as described by itsid earlier. It's not a huge deal I suppose, because the rims are cracking in places and should probably be replaced for safety anyway... I just don't want the rim to melt to the shaft and get more stuck lol.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerFrankel View Post
Thanks! I'll try that. If I'm careful to focus the flame at the bolt do you think I can prevent the rims from melting? They're plastic, but apparently they're a special kind of plastic as described by itsid earlier. It's not a huge deal I suppose, because the rims are cracking in places and should probably be replaced for safety anyway... I just don't want the rim to melt to the shaft and get more stuck lol.
Nylon melts at a tad over 500 degrees. Would't get it any where close to a map gas torch.
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:15 AM
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I agree.. no propane on the rear axle's seized nuts and bolts.

pb blaster and time .. maybe a few taps with a mallet every now and again, to build some hairline cracks in the rust for the pb blaster to creep in..
And more patience, lots thereof.

I mean sure.. if you don't want the nylites, then you do not need to worry,
it transistion temp gives you a good enough marging to prevent things from getting worse..
Still I'd try to salvage them.

'sid
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:19 AM
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Thanks! I'll keep hammering and blasting until they eventually come off lol... Do you think it's ok to run them for temporary if the outer rim is cracking a bit? I'll post pics when I get home, but basically the outer rim part that keeps the tire in place has broken off in a couple spots. Doesn't seem like a huge deal if I'm careful.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerFrankel View Post
Thanks! I'll keep hammering and blasting until they eventually come off lol... Do you think it's ok to run them for temporary if the outer rim is cracking a bit? I'll post pics when I get home, but basically the outer rim part that keeps the tire in place has broken off in a couple spots. Doesn't seem like a huge deal if I'm careful.
You also might want to take a trip to your local mechanic and see if you can borrow his impact gun for a few minutes and loosen all the bolts you can see in one good go. Also if you give him a 10$ bill he would probably be a bit more likely to do it .
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TylerFrankel View Post
Thanks! I'll keep hammering and blasting until they eventually come off lol... Do you think it's ok to run them for temporary if the outer rim is cracking a bit? I'll post pics when I get home, but basically the outer rim part that keeps the tire in place has broken off in a couple spots. Doesn't seem like a huge deal if I'm careful.
if that pic you posted above is what you are talking about:
NO you cannot run that half; not even a short while...
there's missing a large bit of that collar... no way that'd be safe.

hence I told you where to find a replacement (I think it's the stepped down (3/4" half) you need, maybe you need the full size 1" IDK...
you will know better...
it's easy to find such half and replace it.

Nylites (or azusalites in your case) are as rigid as aluminium cast rims, just lighter...
and less prone to cracking on impact (funny enough seing the missing chunk )
for all I remember they're a tiny bit more expensive than aluminium rims
which makes them less popular
(they look cheaper being plastic and such... but cost more)

I like them and I'd keep them on the kart..
a broken half or two are easier and even cheaper to replace than what you'd pay for a set of new wheels anyways.
In fact I'd find a front set as well to make it four IIWY.

BUT as you please and as long as you are not toying with the 10dollar horror fraud dolly wheels idea
any proper KART wheels of similar size will serve you well,
and you can surely replace them with whatever wheel you like more.

'sid

PS: Oh and you are aware that the star hub is a wheel insert, right?
you need to release the axle, not the Nylon rim from that. [just to be sure]
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Old 03-11-2019, 05:29 PM
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I'm really jealous
I wish I had an American Express to work on.
Especially with a modded Predator.
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Old 03-11-2019, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsid View Post
if that pic you posted above is what you are talking about:
NO you cannot run that half; not even a short while...
there's missing a large bit of that collar... no way that'd be safe.

hence I told you where to find a replacement (I think it's the stepped down (3/4" half) you need, maybe you need the full size 1" IDK...
you will know better...
it's easy to find such half and replace it.

Nylites (or azusalites in your case) are as rigid as aluminium cast rims, just lighter...
and less prone to cracking on impact (funny enough seing the missing chunk )
for all I remember they're a tiny bit more expensive than aluminium rims
which makes them less popular
(they look cheaper being plastic and such... but cost more)

I like them and I'd keep them on the kart..
a broken half or two are easier and even cheaper to replace than what you'd pay for a set of new wheels anyways.
In fact I'd find a front set as well to make it four IIWY.

BUT as you please and as long as you are not toying with the 10dollar horror fraud dolly wheels idea
any proper KART wheels of similar size will serve you well,
and you can surely replace them with whatever wheel you like more.

'sid

PS: Oh and you are aware that the star hub is a wheel insert, right?
you need to release the axle, not the Nylon rim from that. [just to be sure]
Thanks! I figured that out after a while lol... I can't get them off still! My neighbors have an electric impact drill I've been borrowing but I imagine a pneumatic one is better... maybe I'll find somebody to help me out. I have a video on the current state of things:

Thanks so much for all your advice can't thank you enough! Don't let me take up too much of your time

Video:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yun...ew?usp=sharing

Pictures of front wheels:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/135r...ew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PCb...ew?usp=sharing

As you can see the front wheels are mismatched and the front left one has a nut that is barely screwed on for some reason, although it seems sturdy (I tried briefly to unscrew it without luck of course ) Any advice as to if this is a problem or not?
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTSpeedDemon View Post
I'm really jealous
I wish I had an American Express to work on.
Especially with a modded Predator.
Its a lot of fun so far! It's funny, the most restrictive thing for me right now is literally the wheels being stuck on If I can get em off and replace them, the brakes, chain, and the clutch spring I should be set! Then It's just about fixing my alignment and trying to hit 50mph. I get a lot of speed already (I may or may not have tried it with a flat wheel for a small test run, and it felt like it could really haul with some tuning and a fresh set of wheels, bearings, chains, etc.) Hope this thread is interesting
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTSpeedDemon View Post
I'm really jealous
I wish I had an American Express to work on.
Especially with a modded Predator.
Personally I'd say screw the Express and go for the Dingo given all else equal. Big (optional) cage, same frame more or less, and BIG 18" wheels instead of the little Express ones.

tylerfrankel-
But it looks like your fun with your American Express. Don't get the feeling you have a bad kart or anything, an Am.Exp. is a very nice first kart. I just like my big rear wheels . Remember it's not about what you have, it's about making the best fun out of what you have, and even a one tire fire can be a **** of a time.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:18 AM
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The JT-Webster's Factionary Dictionary states that: "Scary-To be frightening or surprising. Synonyms: Frightening, shocking, fun."

---------- Post added at 11:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:16 AM ----------

One wheel peel is scary, thus fun! Even more so with an inadequate frame!
No, seriously, don't do that.

---------- Post added at 11:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:18 AM ----------

Sage wisdom: 'Don't try this at home kids!'
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTSpeedDemon View Post
The JT-Webster's Factionary Dictionary states that: "Scary-To be frightening or surprising. Synonyms: Frightening, shocking, fun."

---------- Post added at 11:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:16 AM ----------

One wheel peel is scary, thus fun! Even more so with an inadequate frame!
No, seriously, don't do that.

---------- Post added at 11:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:18 AM ----------

Sage wisdom: 'Don't try this at home kids!'
Lol don't worry this is actually a live rear axle surprisingly. It seems sturdy. If I can get the chain smooth and new tires/rims for a more smooth drivetrain as wells as better steering and brakes it could go pretty fast!
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:51 PM
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Carsandcameras mentioned how low the AmEx is, but I've seen them do off road stuff with theirs, so you should have a pretty versatile kart once it runs smooooth.
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTSpeedDemon View Post
Carsandcameras mentioned how low the AmEx is, but I've seen them do off road stuff with theirs, so you should have a pretty versatile kart once it runs smooooth.
I love that channel lol, they're really helpful. Hopefully I can find one about the American Express on their channel. The engine is actually seeming like it will be good to go, at most the carb needs replacing. It runs alright and idle is a bit unstable but I'm betting if I put seafoam in the gas for a while it will be ok... I may get a better carb for more performance at some point. The engine itself seems great! The clutch is one that's a bit different than your normal centrifugal, I'll see if I can ID it, and I may replace it for a nicer one. I want one that is very heat resistant because I will likely do a good bit of stop and go driving, but don't want a torque converter. When I get new wheels and keys for the shafts, clean up the brakes, straighten the frame and oil all the bearings this thing should be smooth as glass. At least, I hope
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